Update on the Trial of Strafford Painting

“Proving” is an ambitious word.  How do you “prove” that a mid-1800s painter depicting an important historical scene was aware of and attempting to portray specific actors and their inter-relationships in a drama that was already more than 200 years old at the moment he first stood before his empty canvas? Clearly, Thomas Woolnoth went to pains to realistically portray the principals of the scene in “The Trial of Strafford”, but was he aware of Richard Lane and his  role? How much research did he do? How can we assert that he would have been aware of historical research that was being done in his own time?  Without  corroborating evidence, such assertions must be considered a hypothesis – one based on raw speculation…but, I think we can do better! Continue reading “Update on the Trial of Strafford Painting”

Jean Chevalier’s Diary – An Amazing (and largely unknown) Historical Document!

Have you ever spent a moment thinking about the word “journalist”? Because of modern media, we think of a journalist as someone who reports on news for the public media.  But in mid 1600s, a local Jersey man named Jean Chevalier was a journalist in the most basic sense of the word – he began a diary, capturing events in Jersey during the Period of the English revolution – starting in 1643 and continuing until parliamentary forces finally captured the island in 1651.  What is so remarkable about this journal is the level of penetrating detail it captured about people and events on the island – providing singular and often quite personal insights into day-to-day and historically significant events alike.  I’ve never seen anything like it…

Continue reading “Jean Chevalier’s Diary – An Amazing (and largely unknown) Historical Document!”